Rochester, MN, Backyard Bliss with KTTC

Michael Blazing, PLA of Weller Brothers Landscaping in Rochester, MN with Thatcher Pools talking about Backyard Bliss
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Create your backyard bliss on KTTC with Thatcher Pools

Creating your own backyard bliss is easier than you may think with the partnership of Thatcher Pools and Weller Brothers Landscaping

On June 21, 2024, KTCC in Rochester, MN, caught up with Weller Brothers landscape architect Michael Blazing, PLA, and Ben Thatcher, co-owner of Thatcher Pools, to talk about how clients can begin creating their dream outdoor living area with a pool. 

Do You Know Your Landscaping Budget?

backyard landscaping with a patio and pergola in south dakota

Do You Know Your Landscaping Budget?

Homeowners contact our team daily with their dreams for improved landscaping or outdoor living features. But, often, they have no concept of their budget simply because they don’t know a reasonable cost expectation. 

Part of doing our job the Weller Brothers Way includes making an extra effort to educate our clients and being transparent about how we price our products and services. We value the time of both our clients and our designers and for that reason, we strive to be upfront about landscaping costs.

Which Type of Homeowner Are You?

We frequently meet with two types of homeowners with misunderstandings regarding the cost of landscaping:

1. They Know What Their Budget Is

This homeowner comes to Weller Brothers with landscaping dreams – perhaps a new patio with an outdoor kitchen and surrounding softscapes – but with unrealistic investment expectations. 

“We’d love to have a backyard pool with surrounding pavers and softscapes, and maybe even a firepit. Our budget for this is $50,000.”

While this budget is nothing to scoff at, we’ll need to nix the pool to make it happen and encourage the client to prioritize their desired features to accommodate the budget. 

These conversations are always a bummer for both the client and our team. For this reason, we do our best to share our landscape budget guide online and in our initial client onboarding process to manage expectations and goals early in the relationship.

2. They Know What Their Budget Isn’t

“We don’t really have a budget in mind” or “We have no clue what’s reasonable,” is something we commonly hear from homeowners. “But here is what we want.”

Without a baseline budget to guide the way, we might spend time drafting a landscape design with the client’s desired features, often to be met with “Well, that’s more than we thought it would be. That isn’t within our budget.” 

Back to the drawing board.

If you know that you would spend, for example, $25,000 to $75,000, but you know that you won’t spend $80,000, let us know! While that wide range of available budget may not seem to provide our designers much direction, it gives us something to work with and could eliminate the potential for multiple revisions (which saves you money).

So, if you meet with a Weller Brothers landscape designer who asks, “Would you spend $50,000? Would you spend $80,000? Would you spend $150,000?” know that they aren’t trying to manipulate you into spending more.

They are identifying what your landscaping budget isn’t.

How We Work Within Your Budget

While some landscaping features may simply be out of the question for some price points (for example, a custom masonry outdoor kitchen on a $15,000 budget), our design team will work with you to manage costs as much as possible.

Here are some examples of features we can adjust to help manage your budget:

Wall Materials

We have many options across various price points for wall materials – between field boulders, manufactured block, or decorative block.

Patio Pavers

We source our pavers from a few different manufacturers, including Belgard, Unilock, and Techo-Bloc. Within these brands, there are many options for paver style, size, and materials. We can consider all of these options to help offset costs as needed.

Pool Options

Your backyard pool design provides many opportunities for cost efficiency. To give you an idea, a pool could range anywhere from $180,000 (no features or landscaping around the pool) to upwards of half a million dollars (including custom designs, lights, jets, slides or diving boards, and more.)

There are also price ranges between fiberglass (lower cost) and concrete pools (higher cost).

Outdoor Kitchens

Similar to your pool, we have a lot of room for adjustment with outdoor kitchens. A baseline outdoor kitchen is a simple kit kitchen that may include a countertop and a grill.

Conversely, your fully customized stone veneer kitchen with accessories like a kegerator, pizza oven, or sink will require greater investment.

Here are some ideas to consider for your outdoor kitchen.


Going from a gas firepit to a wood-burning firepit is an easy cost-saving swap.

We can also discuss the materials for your firepit; for example, we can custom-build it from cinder blocks and stone veneer or purchase a firepit kit for a more cost-effective option.


We can manage the costs of your general landscaping, shrubs, trees, and plants by selecting smaller or different plants.

A common example is Boxwoods. They are popular in the Midwest but cost more as they take several years to grow. Instead, opt for Dogwoods, which have a quicker growth rate and are more cost-efficient.

Your Weller Brothers landscape designer will help you make cost-related material decisions that align with your priorities for your outdoor living space.

Also, you can trust that even if you go with the “cheapest” option for a feature, Weller Brothers still only sources high-quality materials for our clients and our landscaping projects in Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN, and Des Moines, IA.

Let’s Align Expectations

We understand that if you don’t live and breathe landscaping like we do, it’s unlikely that you would have a realistic idea of the cost of landscaping features. 

That’s exactly why we have created our landscape budget guide. We encourage you to consult this before you contact us. That way, you will be confident of your next steps in investing in your outdoor living space and we can create a high-quality, long-lasting landscape design within your budget — whatever it may be.

Six Reasons To Use Native Plants in Your Next Landscaping Project

Landscaping project utilizing South Dakota Native Plants

Six Reasons To Use Native Plants in Your Next Landscaping Project

Did you know that utilizing native plants in your next landscaping project is not only great for the environment but can also make lawn maintenance easier?

We know that low-maintenance solutions are a priority as a homeowner. When it comes to your landscaping, Weller Brothers has you covered on the best ways to make a big impact on your property while only making a small impact on the earth. 

Let’s learn why you should choose native plants when spring makes its eagerly awaited arrival back to the midwestern states!

One thing to keep in mind is that different geographic areas have different types of native plants. Finding a local nursery that can serve as a great asset to ensure that your selection of native plants is native to your area

Native flowers in a landscaping rock bed.

Environmental and Pocketbook Friendly

Native plants are low maintenance because they are naturally well suited for the local environment. By choosing native species for your landscaping, you can significantly cut down the time and money you spend on multiple different aspects of maintenance.

Native plants offer a wide variety of benefits to connect us with our environment. Below are six reasons from the professionals:

1. No Fertilizer or Pesticides Needed

Native plants have adapted to their ecosystem’s soil. No matter if your soil is poor or extremely fertile, they can survive off of the soil’s available nutrients, as well as defend against the area’s insects, diseases and fungi. Not only does this save you time and cash, but it is also great for the environment.

2. Irrigation

Though our planet may be full of water, the availability of clean and safe drinking water is shrinking. Water that is used to irrigate your lawn, garden, or flower bed is valuable and can quickly add up costs in the heat of summer. Native plants generally require less water than non-native plants due to their adaptation.

3. Annual Bloom

Gone are the days of having to head to your local nursery each spring to purchase plants for your yard! Due to the adaptability of native plants, they will resurface each spring as if you just planted them, saving you the hassle of having to repurchase, cage, tear out, and replant each year.

Coneflowers in South Dakota Sunset.

4. Water Runoff

When rain falls, it must go somewhere. The soil will soak up some of the water and replenish the groundwater. However, most water flows into a storm drain as runoff, which is often polluted by several different types of chemicals. By adding native plants, you can help minimize the effects of this runoff as their deep roots help filter stormwater before it makes its way to a waterway.

5. Erosion Prevention

Erosion — it is a real pain! It begins to change the shape of your yard’s slopes and landscape beds and can even change water flow. The extremely deep roots from native plants can help stabilize and anchor the soil to avoid further erosion.

6. Fostering Habitats and Biodiversity

Biodiversity is the wide variety of life on Earth; from humans to tiny organisms, biodiversity is the interconnection between all living things. When you grow native plants you’re preserving the natural connections and habitats between organisms in your yard. Homegrown National Park is a nationwide call to action to regenerate biodiversity in the ecosystem. This allows for a unique habitat to be built for discovery and learning from children of all ages in the outdoors.

Traditional style landscape in front yard.

What Native Plants to Include in the Midwest Region

Since you are now convinced to create your very own habitat from native plants, sourcing and selecting the perfect plants comes next! Prairie Moon Nursery is an advocate for prairie restoration and is a resource for authentic native plants. 

Here are some of Weller Brothers favorite native plants that will not only thrive here in the Midwest, but add the fundamental elements needed to bring your landscape project to life.

  • Oak Trees’ (Quercus) ecological benefits number as high as their lifespan. Their mighty crown of branches provides not only an oasis of shade but also an abundant food source for native animals. The expansive root system also makes it an ideal choice for soil conservation, preventing erosion in natural or manmade terrain. 
  • Yarrow (Achillea) is a unique plant sure to add color and texture to your landscape. This deer and rabbit-resistant plant can grow in some pretty unfavorable conditions but will give you long-lasting blooms that seem to float above the stems like lazy clouds ranging from red to pink to yellow. Yarrow is also a perfect addition to any fresh bouquet or to cut and dry.
Vine like native plants in landscaping bed
  • Penstemon or Beardtongues are another native flower that come in a vibrant array of colors. These blooms provide a bountiful buffet of nectar to our favorite winged pollinators — hummingbirds and bees. As well as being an important player in promoting diversity, Penstemon is pest and drought-resistant. 
  • Grasses such as Little BlueStem (Schizachyrium) provide not only year-round interest to your landscape, but year-round safety to one of our most important gardeners. This grass is often chosen by the female bumblebee as her shelter for the long winter. The seed of this grass also attracts many varieties of songbirds, a welcome sign of life on our long and dismal winter days. 
  • Potentilla is a prolific blooming shrub that can add a pop of color to any landscape. Besides the benefit of beauty, the root system is fibrous and wide-spanning — acting as a perfect natural netting to prevent erosion.

Contact Us To Have the Professionals Design Your Native Plant Sanctuary

Take the guesswork out of creating an all-encompassing native landscape project and let the professionals at Weller Brothers in Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN, and Des Moines, IA, handle your project. 

Our experienced Landscape Design team will ensure your native landscape project comes to life. Contact us here to request landscape design services.

Caring for Your Outdoor Patio

Outdoor Fireplace with Custom Outdoor Furniture and Patio


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Caring for Your Outdoor Patio

Outdoor patios combine comfort, and versatility that allows relaxation, socialization, and while enjoying the outdoors! The ability to create a personalized and inviting outdoor area makes patios a favorite feature of many homes.

However, caring for a patio and outdoor furniture in the Midwest involves addressing specific challenges with the region’s diverse climate, including frigid winters, hot summers, and varying types of precipitation. 

Weller Brother’s landscape designers and HGTV are here to offer you their professional expertise to ensure your patio and outdoor furniture are maintained and cared for to optimize your next hosting experience!

Outdoor Patio Care

Not all patios are created the same; different materials need to be cared for specifically to ensure that you maintain the integrity of the paver materials. Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaning solutions that are not recommended for your patio materials. Here are our general patio cleaning recommendations:

Recommended Patio Cleaning Guidelines:

  • Remove all patio furniture, sweep off or use a leaf blower to remove debris from the patio. 
  • Hose down the concrete or pavers with a garden hose equipped with a nozzle that provides a strong stream of water or a pressure washer on a low setting. 
  • Use a mild grease-cutting detergent such as Dawn or Ajax dishwashing liquid mixed with water and a natural or synthetic bristle scrub brush to help brighten the patio surface. NOTE: Never use a wire brush as it can leave rust stains and scratch the concrete or paver surface.
  • Use a degreaser made for concrete to remove oily spots, often found near the grill.
  • If your patio is heavily discolored, you should call in a professional. They will apply a solution on the patio surface to bring it back to life.

Outdoor Furniture Maintenance

You should maintain your outdoor furniture  to ensure many years of comfort and pleasure in your outdoor living space. We recommend that patio furniture be “deep cleaned” at least twice a year – once in the spring when temperatures begin to rise, and once in the late fall before it is stored out of the winter elements. 

Regular cleaning is recommended for all types of outdoor furniture, this will minimize mildew, dirt and debris buildup.

How to Clean your Outdoor Furniture:

  • Wash cushions and furniture frames with mild soap and clean water. Let cushions dry completely before placing them back on the furniture to prevent mildew from growing.
  • Use auto polish on metal furniture frames to make them shine; make sure that the metal is not coated with a paint prior, as the polish will remove the paint. NOTE: When using new products on your furniture, test the product in a small inconspicuous area of the furniture prior to ensuring the product does not damage any metal finishing. 
  • Use a glass cleaner on glass tabletops and don’t forget to clean the glass on the windows of your outdoor lanterns so the light shines through.
  • Use a kitchen degreaser on grill grates and the outside of stainless steel grills. Learn more on how to deep clean your grill.
  • Open your umbrella and wash the fabric with mild soap and water, and use a household oil — such as WD-40 silicone lubricant — on any moving parts to keep them working well.
  • Remove and discard any old potting soil from planters and clean the insides of pots with a bleach and water solution to kill any insects or bacteria that may have overwintered in the pots. Fill with fresh potting soil and put in new plants.

Don’t Sleep On Our Outdoor Furniture Design Services!

Whether you have an outdoor living space that is in need of new furniture or you are wanting to upgrade your existing furniture, Weller Brothers is the place to call. In addition to a free face-to-face design experience, Weller Brothers also offers outdoor furniture cleaning in the winter months for existing customers! This gives you the opportunity to put your furniture out of sight and out of mind, while having it ready to use as the warmer weather quickly approaches again.

Contact Us For Your Patio Upgrade

If it’s time for a new patio or quality outdoor furniture in Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN, or Des Moines, IA, you’re in the right place.

Our experienced landscape design and furniture design teams will ensure your dream landscape project comes to life and stays that way. Contact us here to get started on your new outdoor living space!

The Best Plants For Your Next Midwest Landscaping Project

landscaping project in the midwest

The Best Plants For Your Next Midwest Landscaping Project

Living in the midwestern states is great, however some plants do not find that to be true. Not all plants thrive in the Midwest due to its climate, soil types, and other environmental factors. Plants may struggle due to the frigid winters, blazing summers, or various soil compositions. However, many native plants have adapted well to the Midwest’s conditions and flourish here.

As you begin creating your dream landscape project, there are a few things to consider when choosing a plant that will thrive in Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN or Des Moines, IA

Ensure that the plants you include in your next landscaping project are Midwest-friendly with advice from the professionals at Weller Brothers and Better Homes & Gardens.

What to Consider When Selecting your Plants

When selecting plants for the garden, USDA hardiness zones provides detail on what plants will best survive your coolest weather. The Midwest region includes plant hardiness zones 3-5. 

Deciding which plants to grow in the Midwest can be tricky. Using the hardiness zone tool above, start by narrowing in on the plants that best fit your climate. A couple of other important things to consider when adding new plants to your yard is how much sunlight your plant will need and how much space you need between plants.

Feather Reed Grass a native South Dakota Plant

To transform a space and create a unique experience, Weller Brothers recommends incorporating a variety of color and texture; these elements add interest and richness to any design!  

Below are five examples of plants that will not only thrive in the Midwest, but also add key elements to bring your dream landscape project to life.

The Types of Plants to Consider:

    • Poaceae, commonly known as grasses, have narrow leaves with parallel veins and small, inconspicuous flowers.
    • Burning bush are apart of the shrub family. Shrubs are any woody plant that has several stems, none dominant, and is usually less than 3 m (10 feet) tall. 
    • Echinacea are flowered perennials also known as Cone Flowers, and are often cultivated as border plants.
    • Yucca, which is commonly referred to as Adam’s Needle, is  unforgettable for their rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves and large terminal panicles of white flowers.
Wood Iris in Midwest Landscaping Project including a pool.

How to Care for your Midwest-Friendly Plants

Once you have selected the perfect Midwest-friendly plants, placing them in the appropriate area, as well as ensuring that they are getting the proper amount of sunlight and hydration, is equally important to their life span. Different types of plants require different amounts of water and sunlight. Watering properly in the summer fends off heat stress; however, make sure to avoid overwatering and wetting the leaves to prevent disease in the already-muggy conditions.

If the thought of designing, selecting, building, and caring for  your newest landscaping project feels overwhelming, leave the hard work to the professionals at Weller Brothers in Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN and Des Moines, IA.

Our experienced Landscape Design team will ensure your dream landscape project comes to life. Contact us here to request Landscape Design services.

Eight Questions to Ask During Your Landscape Design Consultation

Weller Brothers employees discussing a design at a table
Weller Brothers employees discussing a design at a table

Eight Questions to Ask During Your Landscape Design Consultation

How exciting! You have decided to create your dream outdoor living space.

Whether you’re planning for a pool, outdoor kitchen, custom patio, a pergola — or, all of the above — the next step is to find a qualified designer and installation team who can design, build, and maybe even maintain, your landscaping.

You’ve searched online and found a landscaping company in your area. Now, it’s time to meet with the designer.

Before You Get Started, Ask These Eight Questions

Whether you’re in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, or beyond, there are several important questions that a homeowner should ask during a landscape design consultation as you approach this huge and exciting investment.

Let’s discuss.

1. What is your design process and how do you work with clients?

The answer to this question will give you an understanding of how the designer approaches the design process and how they work with clients. Some specific things to consider when asking this question might include:

  • How do you begin the design process? Do you start with a consultation at my home?
  • Will you listen to my ideas? What if I don’t have any ideas about what I want? 
  • How will you present your designs to me? Do you provide sketches, computer renderings, or other visual aids?
  • How do you handle revisions and changes to the design? Will you work with me to make changes or do you stick to the original design plan?
  • How do we communicate during the design process? Do you have regular check-ins or do you only communicate when necessary?

You may be working with this designer over the course of many months, or even longer. Entering into the working relationship with an overview of the process will set everyone up for success.

2. How do you approach the design of outdoor spaces and what factors do you consider?

One of your main criteria in hiring a landscape designer is that they listen to your needs and desires for your space, while still bringing their own expertise and creativity.

By asking the designer about their approach to designing your space, you’ll set expectations at the beginning of the relationship.

Some examples of factors to discuss include:

  • Incorporating elements like plants, hardscaping, lighting, and other features into your designs — does the designer have a specific approach to incorporating these elements, or do they take a more flexible approach?
  • Designing outdoor spaces that are functional and aesthetically pleasing — how does the designer balance these two goals?
tile patio with green turf and patio furniture

3. Can you provide examples of your work and references from past clients?

If the answer to this question is “no,” find a new landscape designer.

Work examples and customer testimonials will both attest to the quality of the designer’s work and communication, as well as provide clarity as to whether or not the designer’s style is right for you.

At Weller Brothers, we create landscape tours and client testimonials for many of our landscape design projects. This shows potential customers that our designers and team provide quality and trusted service in Rochester, Des Moines, and Sioux Falls. Plus, they’re just really fun to share!

weller brothers customers filming a testimonial video in their backyard

Weller Brothers customers filming a testimonial video in their backyard.

Another important thing to consider when looking at a designer’s past work is if it’s similar in style or scope to your project. 

Do they have experience designing outdoor spaces that are similar to yours in terms of size, layout, and other characteristics? If they don’t, perhaps there is another designer on their team who is a better fit for your project.

For example, while all of our designers at Weller Brothers are very talented and experienced, we have one who designs many of our commercial projects and another who loves to work with natural grasses in his designs.

A landscape project is a large investment; take the time to find the designer who can best create what you’re dreaming of.

4. Can you provide an estimate for the cost of the design and any additional services?

Big question, right? You’re probably walking into this meeting with a budget, and maybe you’ve already consulted a budget guide.

Of course, you want to know what this project will cost and what expenses may come up along the way. Maybe you have a budget in mind and you need a designer who can work within those constraints.

Communication is key here.

  • First, the designer should be able to provide a detailed estimate of the cost of the design process, including any consultation fees, site analysis fees, and design fees.
  • How about any additional costs that may arise during the design process, such as changes to the design or unexpected challenges that may require additional work or resources? If so, how will the designer handle these costs?

A clear, upfront conversation about all costs associated with your landscape project will contribute to a smooth and positive experience for both you and the designer.

5. How do you address maintenance and upkeep in your designs?

As the homeowner, are you prepared to maintain your landscape once the project is complete? Do you even know what type of maintenance will be necessary?

Landscape maintenance is an important topic to discuss with your designer because you certainly don’t want your new project to look abandoned and overgrown in a few years. 

If desired, can your designer incorporate low-maintenance plants? Does the company offer ongoing maintenance services to keep your new landscape looking pristine? If so, what’s the estimated cost?

A beautiful landscape is a place to create a lifetime of memories – but it’s also a lifetime of commitment. How can your designer help you prepare for that commitment?

weller brothers employee blowing leafs from a rock bed

6. Can you provide a timeline for the design process and any potential implementation?

Summer is coming, and you want to be enjoying that new patio and fire pit ASAP – we get it.

Just like the budget topic, it’s important to set clear expectations about the project timeline from the beginning. How long will the design process take? When will the work begin? When can I finally dive into my pool?

Other factors that may impact the timeline for the design process or implementation include weather, the availability of materials, and subcontractors. With the freezing Midwest winter, perhaps a larger project needs to be executed in phases.

Communication is key!

7. How do you handle any changes or revisions to the design?

Things happen. Minds change. New ideas take root. So, what happens if you want to revise your landscape design?

Obviously, after a certain point in the timeline, this may not be possible. But, it’s also important that you and the designer work together to create a landscape design you’ll be happy with for years – even if it takes a few revisions.

During the initial design process, does the designer allow a certain number of revisions? Is there a cost associated with revisions? 

  • What if you want to make a change after the groundbreaking?
  • How does the designer handle changes or revisions to the design after the design process is complete and the design has been implemented?
  • Do they offer any warranty or support for changes or revisions made after the design process is complete?

Understanding how the designer handles changes or revisions to the design will help you feel confident that the final design meets your needs and preferences.

8. What is your approach to sustainability and environmentally-friendly design practices?

Some people care deeply about sustainability in their landscaping and all areas of their lives. This may be you!

If sustainability is an important consideration in your Midwest landscaping, bring it up with your designer. He or she may have experience with drought-tolerant plants, rainwater harvesting systems, or incorporating natural grasses into the design.

In general, landscape sustainability boils down to a few key factors (including water usage and types of plants), so an experienced designer will help you find a design solution that you’re comfortable with.

Feather Reed Grass a native South Dakota Plant

Found the Right Designer? Now the Fun Begins

Once you’ve identified a landscape designer and covered all the bases above, you’ll be amazed at how your outdoor space will transition over the next few months.

We’re so excited for you!

If you’re in the Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN, or Des Moines, IA, area and still looking for the right landscape designer, we’d love to learn more about your goals. 

Learn more about our services and processes and reach out if you’re ready to schedule a consultation.

Ideas to Consider For Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen

Full Outdoor Kitchen with Mantel Style look, Weller Brothers Landscaping

Ideas to Consider For Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen

Our customers in Rochester, Des Moines, and Sioux Falls reach out to us with the goal of extending their indoor living space into the outdoors. For many, this means including an outdoor kitchen in their landscape design.

You may quickly brush off the idea of an outdoor kitchen as a lofty investment that will bring your landscape design beyond your budget. However, our designers can likely incorporate the outdoor kitchen elements that you’re looking for into nearly any budget.

So, whether you envision a full-service outdoor kitchen with custom masonry details or a simple kegerator and flat-top stove area – or something else – we’re here to help you decide what will be best for your lifestyle and your budget.

Read on to learn about our favorite outdoor kitchen elements for Midwest homes!

Customizable – The Options Are Endless!

brats being cooked on a grill

The outdoor kitchen is one of the most customizable features in your landscape design.

Unlike some landscaping features that have limitations, outdoor kitchens offer many possibilities. You can tailor your outdoor kitchen to your exact preferences and modify it to your space. Here are a few customizable aspects to consider:

  1. Material Selection: Outdoor kitchens can be constructed from a variety of materials, including veneer stone on a wooden frame, cinderblock retaining walls, and fascia block walls. Your choice of material can greatly impact the aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen.

  2. Size and Shape: Depending on the space available, you can decide on the size and shape of your outdoor kitchen. This flexibility allows you to create a kitchen that perfectly fits your backyard.

  3. Accessories and Appliances: From grills to refrigerators, there’s a wide array of appliances and accessories to choose from. You can even integrate unique features like a kegerator, flat-top griddle, or a pizza oven.

Outdoor Kitchen Elements To Consider

While the options for customization are virtually limitless, here are the elements we typically see our customers choose for their outdoor kitchens:

  1. Grill: A must-have for any outdoor cooking enthusiast, a high-quality grill is the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen.
  2. Counter space: Adequate counter space is essential for food preparation, serving, and entertainment.

  3. Fridge: An outdoor refrigerator eliminates the need for trips back and forth to the indoor kitchen.

  4. Bar top or Countertop seating: Whether it’s a bar top or counter with seating, having an area for guests to sit and chat while you cook is a great addition.

Once you cover the basics, you can have even more fun with your outdoor kitchen! Here are additional ideas you may not have thought of:

  1. Smoker: If you already own a smoker, it can be seamlessly integrated into your outdoor kitchen, adding a new dimension to your culinary adventures.

  2. Kegerator: For beer enthusiasts, a kegerator allows you to serve fresh, draft beer right from your backyard.

  3. Flat-Top Griddle: A flat-top griddle is a fun and sleek alternative that allows you to expand your culinary adventures beyond grilling.

  4. Pizza Oven: A custom ceramic masonry pizza oven or a smaller one adds a touch of authenticity to your outdoor kitchen. We’ve had customers implement huge, custom-masonry pizza ovens or smaller, more budget-friendly options.

  5. Fire Table: Consider a fire table as part of your island to create a cozy, warm ambiance.

  6. Swim-Up Bar: While it can be complicated, a swim-up bar is a unique and luxurious option for those with ample space and budget.

man removes pizza from his outdoor pizza oven
homeowners cooking tacos on their evo flat top grille

Designing an Outdoor Kitchen On A Budget

Creating an outdoor kitchen can be a significant investment, but it’s possible to design one that fits within your budget. Here are some tips for stretching your dollar.

For example, instead of building an all-custom outdoor kitchen, our designers can order an outdoor kitchen kit from our suppliers. These pre-designed kits have modular components and they can be a more budget-friendly option.

An important note regarding kits is that the cost savings come from the time saved on the design and planning of an entirely custom kitchen. The elements and appliances are still the same high-quality materials that you can always expect when working with Weller Brothers.

Our landscape designers will always work with you to identify the best options that align with your budget and your vision. That said, let’s discuss what the outdoor kitchen design process looks like!

Other Elements to Consider For Your Outdoor Kitchen

Lastly, you may not have thought about these small but important considerations for your outdoor kitchen. Here are some additional questions are designers will bring up:

  1. Gas or Propane: Decide whether you want a gas line or propane for your grill and other appliances.

  2. Sink Location: Determine if you want a sink connected to your irrigation system or back into your house.

  3. Outlets: Consider how many outlets you want on your backsplash for crock pots or counter lights.

  4. Customization: Think about personal touches like custom beer taps for your favorite sports team or other unique customizations.

The Outdoor Kitchen Design Process

Choosing the elements for your outdoor kitchen involves collaboration with your landscape designer. Our team knows all of the ins and outs of creating and outdoor kitchen!

Here’s how the process typically works:

  1. Initial Consultation: Your designer will listen to your needs, preferences, and budget. They’ll draw up a design based on this information.

  2. Product Selection: The designer will make product decisions based on your budget range. They may present you with options for different elements, ensuring you’re happy with the design.

  3. Customization: If you have specific appliances or fixtures in mind, the designer can work around those, ensuring your outdoor kitchen perfectly suits your desires.

You can gain a more in-depth understanding of our landscape design process in Sioux Falls, Rochester, and Des Moines right here.

Weller Brothers employees discussing a design at a table

Let’s Get Cooking!

Do you feel inspired? We hope so!

Your next step toward having an outdoor kitchen is to schedule a consultation with one of our designers in Rochester, Des Moines, or Sioux Falls.

We’ll check out your space and discuss your budget and what elements you’d love to include in your updated space. We can’t wait to brainstorm with you!

Three Types of Patios to Consider For Your Home

outdoor dining area with porcelain tiles
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Three Types of Patios to Consider For Your Home

A patio is a common addition to any Midwest backyard, providing a sturdy and attractive surface for outdoor entertaining and relaxation.

There are several types of patios to choose from, each with its own unique look and benefits. During your initial consultation with one of our landscape designers, you’ll likely discuss the intended use and desired look to determine which patio type is best for you:

  • paver
  • tile
  • concrete
  • natural stone

Let’s explore these patio options to help you decide which one is right for your outdoor space.

Paver and Tile Patios

beautiful outdoor patio work by Weller Brothers Landscaping

Homeowners in Sioux Falls, Rochester, and Des Moines often opt for paver patios because there are a variety of styles and sizes to choose from, allowing you to create nearly any look you’d like.

Pavers also offer longer patio longevity; if one cracks, you can simply have that one paver replaced.

Types of Pavers

Our landscape design team sources patio pavers from the following brands – Techo-Bloc, Belgard, or Unilock.

All three brands offer high-quality pavers but specialize in different styles. The selection comes down to the color, finish, and overall look you want for your space.

Sometimes, we even install pavers from more than one brand in the same design to add contrasting textures or colors.


Typical Cost of Pavers

The costs of your paver patio can vary greatly depending on the brand or style. Generally speaking, they can range from $25-$35/square foot.

Scroll through the images below to see examples of paver patios installed by Weller Brothers Landscaping.


Tile patios are similar to pavers in that they offer a smooth, polished look and can be replaced individually if needed.

We can source tiles from a variety of places, but oftentimes, customers source these themselves and we provide the installation. We’ve even had some customers order porcelain tiles all the way from Italy!

That said, tiles can be a much higher financial investment, and they certainly add a wow factor to high-end landscape design.

Scroll through the images below to see examples of tile patios installed by Weller Brothers Landscaping.

Concrete Patios

A concrete patio is the most cost-effective of your patio options, and can still look fantastic in your outdoor living space.

Some homeowners prefer a smooth concrete slab surrounding their pool area or for their seating area, while others add a texture element with stamped concrete.

Take note – while a concrete patio may save you some money upfront, it could be a hassle down the road if you’re a perfectionist. One con of concrete patios is that if it cracks or settles in an area, you either have to live with it or replace the whole thing.

It’s totally up to you and your preferences!

Typical Cost of Concrete Patios

Like all patio types, the cost varies but a ballpark range is $10/square foot for plain, brushed concrete and $20-$25/square foot for stamped concrete.

The images below are examples of concrete patios installed by Weller Brothers Landscaping.

Natural Stone Patios

Natural stone – or flagstone – patios are the third patio option for your Midwest home. This type of patio offers an organic, rugged look to your space.

Again, it’s simply a matter of what your desired look is and how you plan to use the space.

For example, if you expect your patio or walkway to be a high-traffic area, natural stone may not be the best option due to the rough surface (which also makes it difficult to shovel).

That said, it can add lovely texture to an ancillary area in your space while complementing a larger, smooth paver area.

Typical Cost of Natural Stone

Natural Stone patios typically run at a similar cost to high-end pavers, or more.

For example, they can be anywhere from $25-$45 per square foot.

natural stone patio area with large custom fireplace

Questions to Ask Yourself

Now that you understand the different types of patios, you might feel overwhelmed. Let’s make the decision easier with a few simple questions:

  • How will you use the space? – If it’s a high-traffic area, flagstone, or natural stone, isn’t the best choice. Will there be kids running around the pool? If so, stamped concrete can be slippery. 
  • Are you okay with having cracks that may develop over time? If “yes,” and you’re budget-conscious, then concrete may be a good option. If you don’t want to live with cracks and settling in a few years, choose a paver patio so you can easily replace individual pavers as needed.
  • What look do you want? Do you want clean, crisp lines? Go with pavers or tiles. Do you like the organic, natural look? Then, consider natural stone.
  • What’s your budget? The cost of a patio varies, but, generally speaking, here is how patio types rank from the least investment to the highest investment:
    • Concrete
    • Stamped concrete
    • Basic pavers
    • High-end pavers
    • Natural stone/flagstone

We have a handy budget guide to help guide your landscape design decision-making. Check it out here. 

Proper Installation Is Key

No matter which type of paver patio you choose, it is important to have it properly installed by a professional, like the team at Weller Brothers. A well-installed paver patio will last for many years, providing a beautiful and functional outdoor space for you and your family to enjoy.

Our team maintains certification from the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, which means that we install patio pavers according to the highest industry standards. 

Visit our design gallery to see more examples of patios we have installed in South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota. 

To request a custom estimate for your backyard patio project, contact us here. Our talented team of landscape designers looks forward to bringing your project to life.